It's hot, sunny, thunderstormy, and absolutely GORGEOUS in Pittsburgh right now. All I want to do is play in the sun-soaked woods, swim in whatever body of water I can find, and daydream in wildflower fields. Summer's got my brain on permanent vacation :-)
But, life & its responsibilities keeps us busy, and I find myself savoring those random moments of joyful peace in this vibrant green world. And what's a better way to fully enjoy the abundance of summer than with a fresh & yummy picnic? Here's a round-up of mouth-watering picnic recipes to share with your friends & family this holiday weekend. Cheers to sunshine, long days, and full bellies!
Recipe from Green Kitchen Stories
Recipe adapted from Bowl+Spoon by Sara & Hugh Forte. We usually make an extra large (almost double) batch of the vinaigrette because it’s so good. If your white wine vinegar is very sweet, you can add some lemon juice for extra zing.
2 pounds/1 kg small new potatoes
Coarse Herb Vinaigrette
3 tbsp pickled capers
2 spring onions or green onions
2 cups loosely packed herbs (a mix of chives, parsley, basil and top greens from the celery)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup cold pressed oil
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 apples, diced
3 celery stalks (save the top greens for the vinaigrette), finely diced
2 leaves kale, chard or spinach, chopped
1 can (14 oz/400 g) cooked chickpeas, rinsed
Put the potatoes in a large pot, cover them with water and bring the water to a boil. Boil for 12-15 minutes until they are cooked through but not falling apart – just until you can easily pierce a sharp knife through the center. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a food processor, blitz capers and their brine, onions, basil, parsley, chives, celery greens, vinegar, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper until you get a coarse vinaigrette. Quarter the potatoes and collect them in a larger mixing bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the just-cooled potatoes and gently toss to coat. It will look like a lot of dressing, but the potatoes soak it up as they sit. Stir celery, apples, kale and chickpeas into the potatoes. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe from Mother Earth Living
6 large tomatoes
• 4 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
• 1/2 cucumber
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 2 scallions, chopped
• 3 sprigs basil leaves
• 3 sprigs cilantro leaves
• 3 sprigs parsley leaves
• Salt and pepper
1. In a food-processor bowl, roughly purée the tomatoes, garlic, cucumber, red pepper flakes, vinegar and oil. Add scallions and herbs, then pulse just until they’re chopped. (If you let the machine run, you’ll end up with a brownish mess.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. If possible, chill overnight before serving so the flavors can blend. Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from The Kitchn. Check the blog post linked in the recipe title for lots of great info and recipe tips!
Makes 1 quart
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers (about 1/2 ounce or 15 grams)
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups cold water
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup simple syrup
Lime wedges (optional, for serving)
Place the hibiscus and cinnamon stick in a large jar or bowl. Add water. Cover and refrigerate overnight (8 to 12 hours). Add simple syrup to taste. Strain out the solids and serve over ice with a squeeze of lime, if desired.
Store the brewed jamaica covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Recipe from The Coast Kitchen
Mixed citrus, sliced
Nice olive oil
Lightly toast the pistachios and set aside to cool. Layer the citrus as a foundation and sprinkle with the pea shoots and pistachios. Finish with olive oil and sea salt. My suggestion is to make this salad right before you are going to serve it and eat it quickly so the pistachios don't get soggy!
Recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini
- A pat of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 150 grams (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 large organic eggs
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
- 150 grams (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) plain unsweetened yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 200 grams (7 ounces) sheep's milk feta cheese (substitute goat cheese)
- 1 bunch fresh herb leaves (flat-leaf parsley, basil, chervil, chives, mint, preferably a mix), about 20 grams or 1 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Butter a 24-by-12-cm (9-by-5-inch) loaf pan and sprinkle half the sesame seeds onto the bottom and sides, shaking the pan to coat.
- Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Stir in the cheese and herbs.
- Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Don’t overmix the batter, it’s okay if a few lumps remain.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, level the surface with a spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds.
- Put into the oven to bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the loaf is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and run a knife around the pan to loosen. Unmold and transfer to a rack to cool.
- Cut in slices or cubes just before serving, slightly warm or at room temperature.
Recipe from One Green Planet
For the Crust:
- 8 dates 3/4 cup oatmeal (80 grams), 1 TB agave (optional)
- 3/4 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar (optional)
For the Filling:
- 1 15-ounce can of coconut cream or 2 full-fat coconut milk cans, cream only
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or brown rice syrup
- 6 tablespoons almond butter or any nut butter (feel free to use more)
For the Topping:
- 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Process dates and oats in food processor until mixture is sticky. Add agave if mixture is a little dry.
- Press crust into small container. Put in the refrigerator.
- Blend filling up and pour over crust. Put in refrigerator overnight or freezer for a few hours.
- Once filling is solid slice into bars and top with melted chocolate chips. To melt chips microwave in short 15 second bursts until smooth. Store in the refrigerator or freezer, depending how soft your filling is.